Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson, Daniel Kaar

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, AJAX & REA, iPhone

Adobe Flex: Blog Feed Post

Apple and Emotional Discussions Around Adobe Flash Player

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works

The recent announcement of iPad has ignited yet another wave of emotional discussions around the role of Flash Player in the evolution of mankind.  People easily take sides and everyone seems to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Actually the word ‘’people” is too vague in this context, because vast majority of the population has no idea what Flash Player is, and they don’t have to know!  As long as they go to youtube and it plays videos people are happy and casually say, “Youtube is a great site!”  

On the same note, I have no idea how my car operates. Back in my school days, I’ve learned that some stuff burns inside the engine producing another powerful stuff that make the wheels spin.  Do I need to know more? Absolutely not. I lease cars and change them every three years.  Once a year I visit those 10-min oil change shops, and people open up the hood and do something to my car, which supposedly helps it run longer.



BTW, believe it or not, 80% of the people working in these shops don’t have deep understanding of how the car operates either. They have a better idea than me, but only people who designed the engine of my car know how it works.
The same holds true for Flash Player, which divides the Earth population into four distinct groups. The first group has about  a dozen of people who know how Flash Player really works.

A couple of hundred people belong to the second group. They believe they know how Flash Player works,  and I’m one of them. For example, in the upcoming seminars in Brussels and San Antonio, CA you’ll hear me explaining how Flash Players slices your code and allocates CPU cycles depending on the nature of the program it runs – more for UI rendering and less for the ActionScript Byte Code, or vice versa. I believe I understand how it works and will be happy to share with you my beliefs.

The third group of people consists of millions of software developers who either believe that Flash Player is a proprietary trash that should burn in hell, or those who say there’s no life without Flash Player.  
The fourth group are the people who never knew what the Flash Player was and lived happily ever after.

Now let’s talk business, pretending that we understand how it works.  Let’s enjoy badmouthing big guys: Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft. It’s easy because they are filthy rich corporations that want your hard earned money for their proprietary software that crashes, gives you blue screens, works slow, and has as many bugs as software written by you.

Yes, Apple products look polished. But until you can afford them it’s clear that only stupid people buy them - your netbook running Windows can do the same things for cheap.   Similarly both Hyndai and Mercedes owners consider each other idiots. Among computer literate people there’s a group of fanatics who equally hate both Apple and Microsoft as they want only free and open source software.  They don’t value their time and prefer to spend hours on making things work and reinventing the wheel  than using someone’s proprietary products.  These people are ready to constantly adjust and fix their HTML/JavaScript (do people still use the AJAX word?) Web applications, but will never accept the benefits of a cross-platform proprietary Virtual Machine such as Adobe’s Flash Player.  

Apple wants complete control on all the software that runs on their mobile hardware.  Since they can’t control the Flash Player’s code they don’t want it there.  Actually, Apple doesn’t want any competition to their system software on iPhone and iPad OS. You can use any Web browser as long as its name starts with an “S” and ends with an “i”. They invite developers to create programs for iPhone/iPad, but you can sell them only through iStore and that’s the main reason why they don’t want Flash Player there because  people will immediately start selling their games written for Flash.

On one hand, Apple says that Flash Player uses lots of resources and works slow on iPhone OS.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if one program runs slower than others on the same hardware there’s gotta be a way to improve its performance unless the owner of the hardware doesn’t want it to happen. And Apple is not willing to give Adobe the low-level API to use iPhone’s hardware more efficiently. Today, Apple wants to maintain the image of Flash Player as poorly written program.  

People who’ve been in the industry long enough remember how fifteen years ago Microsoft applied similar technique to kill WordPerfect, the competitor of Word at the time.  Microsoft was the owner of the code base of both THE OS and Word, and they didn’t want other word processors in the vicinities.

So far Adobe can’t find the key to the heart of Apple and Flash Player suffers.

I’d also want to bring your attention to another aspect that hurts Flash Player on the consumer-oriented market of Web applications. I’m talking about search engine optimization (SEO).  If you were a small business, would you consider creating a Web site for your company in Flash as opposed to HTML/Java script? Most of the small business owners wouldn’t want it. Why? Because they want their services to be found on the Web. If I sell vacuum cleaners or run a brothel in Nevada, I want the highest possible visibility on the Web.

Let’s take a concrete example – a Web site of our company that sells consulting services in development of rich enterprise applications with Flex and Java. Our Web site http://www.faratasystems.com runs in compiled ActionScript under Flash Player getting its content from external XML files.

What are the chances that someone who’s looking for Flex consultants on Yahoo! or via Bing search engine will find our Web site? You got it! We have zero chances of being found. What about Google? The chances are pretty much the same.  During the last two years I hear that Adobe gave Google some mysterious headless Flash Player (a.k.a Ichabod) that knows how to index an external content played by Flash Player. Does it work? I have my reservations.

You may say,  “Yakov, if you know all this, why in the world have you created the Web site of your company in Flash?” No worries guys, I’m not that stupid. The thing is that I have big mouth. I blog and  write articles heavily sprinkled with the proper keywords in plain HTML and JavaScript, and it helps.

Let’s do a hands-on experiment. Go to Google and type the following  words: enterprise development flex.  At the time of this writing, the first two entries on the first page refers to a book “Enterprise Development with Flex” that I co-authored with two of my colleagues at Farata Systems. The third and fourth entries will send you to my blogs at insideria.com. The fifth entry is an excerpt from our book published at Adobe Developers Connection site. The next entry will lead you to our book on Amazon.com. 

The entry number seven is from flexblog.faratasystems.com – it’s our Wordpress blog. None of these entries returned by Google was Flash content – all sites were plain HTML. Got the picture?

If you have spare time, check the second, third, fourth page of Google search results, and good luck in finding our nice, clean, and well designed Flash-only faratasystems.com.

Let’s get back to the original question, “What about a small business that sells vacuum cleaners online?” The chances are slim that they will write books and articles about their business hence their chances to be found online, if done in Flash, are close to zero.  Does it mean that using Flash Player for consumer oriented sites is a bad idea? Not at all, but you should play smart. If I’d be developing that vacuum cleaners’ Web site, I’d do it in HTML/JavaScript embedding Flash content in some portions of the Web site.

The picture is absolutely different in the enterprise  world of rich Internet applications. This is where Flash Player and corresponding technologies shine.

When I was developing a front end for a trading application of a foreign exchange company, I didn’t need it to be found by Google. I needed it to look and perform well, and nothing beats the Flash/J2EE combo there.  Take another example – an occasionally connected application for salesmen on the road. Adobe AIR (it embeds Flash Player) is the best tool for this job.

What’s the bottom line? Flash Player is an important part of today’s Web landscape. It’s not perfect, but there are areas where it’s the best if not the only solution. What about HTML 5? If the history of HTML 4 means anything to you, don’t expect HTML 5  to be a standard way of developing Web applications for another several years.  If you need to create an application that looks good and performs well today, go Flash Player 10.1 and above.

As to Apple and their bad behavior in iPhone OS, they won’t last long without Flash Player there. Take a look at this video showing great performance of Flash Player 10.1 on Nexus, the closest iPhone competitor. As soon as more smart mobile devices from other vendors (all of them will support Flash Player) will start competing with iPhone, Apple will surrender.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP and chief architect at BSQUARE Corporation; Seth Proctor, CTO of NuoDB, Inc.; and Andris Gailitis, C...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!